Converting m4a to mp3 in iTunes

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Table of Contents

The purpose of this tutorial is to help you convert your m4a sound files to mp3. It is possible to use this tutorial to change sound files to several other extensions.

Starting the Process

  1. Launch iTunes. Go to the desktop, double click the Applications folder, and find iTunes. Similarly you can find the iTunes icon in the dock.

    launch icon

  2. Put in your CD containing the sound files you want to convert, or load up the sound files from your disk into iTunes. You can do this by going to File > Add to Library and simply browse for the files you would like to open.

Changing Preferences

Before you start converting your sound files to mp3, we have to change some preferences in iTunes.
  1. Go to the menu and click on iTunes > Preferences.


  2. The Preferences window will pop up in the "General" tab that looks like the following. Click on the Import Settings button near the bottom circled in red.

    import settings

  3. The Import Settings window will pop up. Change the following drop-down menus:

    a) Import Using: MP3 Encoder
    b) Setting: Good Quality

    Depending on what type of quality you want, you may want to choose something different than "Good Quality." For example, if you want high quality sound files, choose "High Quality." For more advanced users, you can choose to customize your settings and modify the stero bit rate, sample rate, and channels.

    import settings

    When you are done, click Ok.

Change Save Directory (optional)

If you want to change the directory of where your files will be saved, take the following steps. If not, this portion of the tutorial will show you were your files will be saved to.

  1. Go to iTunes > Preferences and change into the Advanced tab at the top-right hand corner of the window (as shown in the red circle).

    save settings

    Your files are currently saved in the directory listed in the red box.

  2. To change where you want your files to be saved to, click on the Change button to the right of the red box and browse for the folder you desire. When you are done browsing, save and click Ok


  1. Go to your iTunes Library. Select the sound files you want to convert. You can shift + click and/or function + click to select multiple files.
  2. Right-click and select Create Mp3 version.

    create mp3

  3. If you selected multiple files to convert, they will stack up in a queue and will be converted one at a time. You can see the conversion progress by clicking in the "converting" tab underneath the Playlists section.

    create mp3 progress

  4. Once your files have been converted, they can be located in the spot where you wanted it saved. Refer to step 1 of the Save Location section of this tutorial if you are unsure of where your files are being saved to.

This concludes the tutorial. Your sound files should be easily converted from m4a to mp3.

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